March Hare Trial Winner Dick Glossop pictured at Ivinghoe by Mike Hayward
Starting from Redbourn near junction 9 on the M1 the route went east towards Hitchin, exploring many of the established byways in the area.
Despite all the recent rain these sections didn't prove very difficult and almost everyone arrived at Kensworth with a clean sheet. Nick Woollett had electrical issues with his Dellow Mk1 and picked up a failure at Half Moon lane, reintroduced to the trial after several years when the council resurfaced it. After attention to the points the car ran perfectly for the rest of the day.
Dave Cook pictures Andy Elcomb in his Mazda Eunos on Long Lane. Andy had a successful morning but fell victim to the restart on Hill Farm.
Nick was in one of four Mk1 Dellows entered. Past winner Jim Mountain was in Peter's similar car. Peter Hanman and Ian Davis were in their side valve cars, in Ian's case for his first road trial.
After a relatively easy morning things changed at Kensworth. This venue is familiar to many, having been used for PCT's for the best part of 50 years. The sections were quite different though, using two of the tracks on the farmland. The first one was a straight blast up the stone track with a diversion onto the grass just after the steepest part at the top. This caught out Cliff Morrell (Peugeot) and Reg Taylor (Ford Ka) in Class 1 and they were joined by Nigel Jones in his MX5. This section required some momentum and neither Nev Bowers (Suzuki X90) or Kevin Lindsay (VW Squareback) built enough speed.
Paul Khambatta restarting his newly acquired Beetle on the second Kensworth section. An experienced Classic Trials motorcyclist this was Pauls first trial on four wheels. This is an Adrian Marfell built car previously trialled by Nick Cross and Kevin Lindsay with a 1776 engine. That is now in Sam Lindsay's car and Paul's running a 1300 engine in Class 4.
The second Kensworth section had a tree rooty restart for Classes 4 to 8 and around half the entry either failed to get away or spun to a stop as the gradient increased. This reduced the clean sheets down to an unlucky 13!
After a break for lunch, with a chance for early numbers to watch those running later attempting section 9, came a 14 mile road run north to Mile Tree Farm, opposite the terminus of Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway. There wasn't too much distraction though as the line wasn't running that day.
Barry Redmayne negotiating the twists and turns of the second Mile Tree Section where he lost his clean sheet. Barry had to retire soon after with engine problems.
The second Mile Tree section didn't have a restart but had a real sting in the tail, a long steep climb after a tight left hand corner which prevented a run at the hill. This thinned the clean sheets down to four as both Trevor Wood and Barry Redmayne failed at the two on the final climb.
Ivinghoe started with a Special Test. This was to be critical when it came to the finish and it was Dick Glossop who was fastest when his time was added to the first test at Kensworth. It was close though as Michael Weeks (Racecorp) was only a fraction of a second behind, followed by Jim Mountain and Lee Peck (Kraken).
Michael Weeks in his recently acquired Racecorp. Michael has won a Triple in his MG Midget and will be real threat to the established Class 8 competitors (Photo by Mike Hayward)
It was great to see Michael out in the Racecorp a familiar car to Falcons who remember it being driven by Graham Forsdyke many years ago. This is a different car to the Racecorp's that were campaigned in Class Seven with Pinto engines. Graham Forsdyke also had one of those. However, Michaels car was built by Racecorp with a short wheelbase and a Vauxhall Red Top engine. This was Michael's first outing in his new machine which ran fine on full throttle but dropped onto three at low revs.
Ian Davis restarting on the second Ivinghoe Section in his 1172 Sidevalve Dellow Mk1. Ian acquired his car about six months ago and this was his first Classic Trial. Photo by Dave Cook.
It was the final turn on the section without a restart which was the big problem though. Neither Jim Mountain or Michael Weeks were successful leaving only Dick Glossop (Leige) and Lee Peck (Kraken) clear before the final two sections.
Hawridge Lane is in a narrow gully and the organisers resisted the temptation to make it too difficult to avoid problems in extracting failures. If you take the wrong line its a real problem as its necessary to straddle a vee shaped gully to keep the weight on the driven wheels equal. It wasn't a problem this year and there were only two failures.
First published on Classical Gas